I rode to Cholsey today. I last did the 35 mile trip on my bike just over a year ago. It was the same time of year, probably the same kind of weather. But last year my health wasn’t great. I had a heavy, clunky, cheap bike.
Since then I’ve acquired Fuzzy (or possibly, Fuzzy acquired me – I can never quite tell), who’s lighter, more aerodynamic, with higher gearing and great climbing capability. I’ve been riding further and faster far more often and should generally be a lot fitter.
I was to my slight surprise then that I managed to do the ride today just 0.4 mph faster than last time!
And thus, I must offer my excuses, for there are senses in which this wasn’t a controlled comparison.
- I had the heart rate monitor on and, though I spent nearly an hour over my defined aerobic zone, I was very aware of not pushing too hard. Last time I would just have been going flat out to the limit of my ability.
- There was a lesser tailwind. I remember there being a strong westerly last time. There was a slight south-westerly breeze today.
- I went to the gym on Wednesday and played squash on Friday – it was quite frantic, and so I was probably a bit tired and low on energy.
Err..that’s probably it! I wish I could think of more.
Still, I did about a mile and a half more this time around, still got in under 2 hours, and averaged 18.1 for the whole 2 hours (with one 5-minute break to stretch and eat a banana).
It was a GLORIOUS day for it, and I passed a bunch of guys on better bikes, who were cycling to Pangbourne – a little further than I was going, but my pace was significantly faster!
I felt a little woozy afterwards, despite taking in a whole water-bottle full of Rego, and my legs were pretty tired, so I feel like I’ve pushed myself pretty hard. I don’t really do leisurely.
It was fun and I had a great day with my Uncle, Aunt and Cousin once I arrived and then caught the train back home.
Must try it again sometime – only I’m quite quickly running out of summer!!! Eeek!